Surrey’s Holy Cross Crusaders are Fraser Valley 4A boys basketball champions after a 83-62 win over Terry Fox Ravens at Langley Events Centre on Sunday evening (Feb. 24). (submitted photo: Gary Ahuja/Langley Events Centre)

HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL

‘Underdog’ Holy Cross boys of Surrey win Fraser Valley basketball title for the first time

In 4A division final, Crusaders top Terry Fox Ravens in front of 1,900 spectators in Langley

Holy Cross Crusaders are Fraser Valley boys basketball champions for the first time ever, after their wire-to-wire win over Terry Fox Ravens on Sunday evening (Feb. 24).

The region’s 4A final game was played in front of an estimated 1,900 spectators at Langley Events Centre, where the Surrey-based school team earned a 83-62 victory over their Port Coquitlam rivals.

The top-rated Fox team suffered its biggest defeat of the season against a B.C.-based opponent, as the third-ranked Crusaders jumped out to a lead early in the game and allowed the Ravens to tie the score only a couple of times in the first quarter. After that, it was all Crusaders.

For Holy Cross, Uyi Ologhola scored 32 points and was named the Fraser Valley Most Valuable Player, while Brent Padilla had 18 and Michael Risi finished with a dozen points. Both were Fraser Valley first team all-stars.

(SCROLL DOWN TO SEE ACTION PHOTOS)

“When Matt (LeChasseur) and I took over 10 years ago, we thought we could be here, but if you had to told us this would actually happen, I would call you a liar,” Holy Cross head coach Anthony Pezzente said after the final whistle.

“We tell the kids that we are an underdog everyday and when we play like that, loose and relaxed, we are a very good basketball team.

“I would argue the Fraser Valley is the toughest division and we won it and that’s not bad for a 2A size school playing up 4A and that’s really a credit to the kids.”

Two months ago, Terry Fox bounced Holy Cross by 28 points on the same LEC court, so the Fraser Valley final victory was a sweet one for the Surrey team.

“Our guys played great, they executed the game plan, we finished, we shot the ball well, we rebounded,” Pezzente said. “We are still a really small team but we decided the last two weeks, when you hold the team to one shot, we can attack and play offence.”

The Ravens were led by 20 points from Cam Slaymaker and 10 points from David Chien, a Fraser Valley second team all-star.

In the Fraser Valley third-place game, the #2-ranked Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers held off W.J. Mouat Hawks 85-83 while Walnut Grove Gators won 75-72 over Centennial Centaurs in the fifth/sixth place game.

In the seventh/eighth place game, the result was a heartbreaking one for Guildford Park Sabres of Surrey, who fell 85-72 to Heritage Woods Kodiaks for the seventh and final spot at provincials early next month.

Guildford Park took a 61-59 lead into the fourth quarter but faded in those final 12 minutes, ending a chance to play at provies for the first time in school history.

“We feel like we’ve been improving every single year for the last number of years, and we just came up short tonight,” said Sabres head coach Mike Dumouchelle. “We have some good (players) coming up but we’re going to have to keep building on this, so we’ll see what happens next year.”

Other Fraser Valley tournament first-team all-stars were Terry Fox’s Grady Stanyer, Lord Tweedsmuir’s Arjun Samra and W.J. Mouat’s Gershaun Sarowa. Others named second-team all-stars were Dominic Parolin (Semiahmoo), Jarrett Jacobs (Walnut Grove), Austin Swedish (Lord Tweedsmuir) and Jevan Uppal (W.J. Mouat).

Last Thursday (Feb. 21), Holy Cross earned a trip to the 4A division finals with a 105-93 win over Cloverdale’s Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers at the LEC.

With their Fraser Valley win, Holy Cross has momentum heading into senior boys provincials, which run from March 6 to 9 at Langley Events Centre.

Senior and junior girls teams are in action at the LEC for four days and nights starting Wednesday (Feb. 27). The tourney for junior boys ends Tuesday (Feb. 26) at the LEC.

All tournament schedules, rosters and results can be found at bchighschoolbasketballchampionships.com.

Meantime, Surrey’s Khalsa Lions will be heading to the A-level girls basketball provincials for the first time, thanks to a bronze-medal win over Agassiz Eagles, 69-32, at the Fraser Valleys on Saturday (Feb. 23).

with file from Grace Kennedy, Black Press Media

 

Uyi Ologhola of Holy Cross Crusaders in action against Terry Fox Ravens in the Fraser Valley 4A division boys basketball championship game Sunday at Langley Events Centre. (Photo: Tom Zillich)

Holy Cross Crusaders head coach Anthony Pezzente calls for a foul against Terry Fox Ravens in the Fraser Valley 4A division boys basketball championship game Sunday at Langley Events Centre. (Photo: Tom Zillich)

Holy Cross Crusaders coach Matt LeChasseur tends to an injured Uyi Ologhola after the guard was fouled hard by a Terry Fox Ravens player in the third quarter of the Fraser Valley 4A division boys basketball championship game Sunday at Langley Events Centre. (Photo: Tom Zillich)

Jordan Bantog of Holy Cross Crusaders in action against Terry Fox Ravens in the Fraser Valley 4A division boys basketball championship game Sunday at Langley Events Centre. (Photo: Tom Zillich)

Michael Risi of Holy Cross Crusaders in action against Terry Fox Ravens in the Fraser Valley 4A division boys basketball championship game Sunday at Langley Events Centre. (Photo: Tom Zillich)

Brent Padilla in action against Terry Fox Ravens in the Fraser Valley 4A division boys basketball championship game Sunday at Langley Events Centre. (Photo: Tom Zillich)

Holy Cross Crusaders head coach Anthony Pezzente talks to his players during a timeout against Terry Fox Ravens in the Fraser Valley 4A division boys basketball championship game Sunday at Langley Events Centre. (Photo: Tom Zillich)

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